Marketplace greets students with big changes

By Sarah Luckert
September 15, 2011

Rodney Stockett and Drew Niemann stand in the newly remodeled Marketplace.
Rodney Stockett and Drew Niemann stand in the newly remodeled Marketplace.

The doors to the Marketplace were opened for the first meal time since the anticipated renovations on Thursday, Aug. 24. It was an exciting day for students and faculty alike as the Marketplace served its first full-course meal to the entire Cabrini community.

The “all-you-care-to-eat” dining experience is the most popular location for students to enjoy food on campus. Along with Jazzman’s Café and Sandella’s, the Marketplace is owned by the popular sustainable food company, Sodexo.

Renovation and re-design plans of the Marketplace started originally a few years ago when general manager, Drew Niemann, met with the former Vice President of Finance and Administration. The plans have since then been updated a few times until this summer when they were put into action.

Playing an important part in the renovations was President Marie George, who was needed to make the final call as well as decide financially how the re-design could take place.

As far as design changes go, the dining room received a lifted ceiling; for a more restaurant feel, brand new flooring, energy- efficient lighting, a new make-to-order deli bar, salad bar and breakfast bar. The dining room now includes booth seating and a contemporary paint job on all of the walls.

The tables, chairs, doors, windows and Red Hot Chef station were the only things that were not replaced or updated within the entire plan.

Along with design changes of the Marketplace, a lot of other changes were made to ensure a more efficient and sustainable dining experience.

According to the Cabrini College website, the dining hall received a brand new energy-efficient dishwasher. The dish machine is hidden behind a large wall which is a much different look than before. With the dish room open for all to see, some students and staff found this very unappealing during meal time. Now students deposit their used dishes into a small opening where they are then taken into the dish room on a rolling device.

Cabrini dining services is proud to be known as a trayless college. Being a trayless college saves about 200 gallons of water per 1,000 meals and also reduces food waste up to 50 percent. This is not the only thing that sets Cabrini apart from the rest. The Marketplace is enrolled in a program that agrees to send one or more students to take food from the dining hall and donate it to NMI Hospitality Center.

Making a difference for students, faculty and staff as well as other community members is what makes the dining services stand apart from the rest.

“I am just happy to see everyone else happy,” executive chef Rodney Stockett said. “We have only received positive feedback from the changes.”

For students who recently graduated, the renovations seem too good to be true. “I’m sad that I’m not at Cabrini to enjoy the new marketplace atmosphere,” Alumna Lisa Somers said. “I’ve seen pictures and it looks like a great place to eat and hang out with friends.”

With its new face-lift, the dining services staff, as well as the rest of the college community, believe it needs a new name. Names including the “Cav Café” and the “Cavateria” were just a few rumored ideas. Perhaps there will be a vote sometime in this upcoming year.

Some students would describe the previous Marketplace looking like a high school cafeteria with an unwelcoming feel. “With the new renovations, it has changed not only my overview of the campus as a whole but it has also changed the outlook from the student body,” Gregory Robinson, sophomore political science and business major, said. “Students feel they can relax and enjoy their food with their friends and not feel rushed to eat and leave. The new Marketplace has given Cabrini a major face-lift that was extremely needed.”

After taking three weeks to complete the project in time for its grand-opening, the Cabrini dining services staff continues to enhance the space with minor changes. Adding pictures and other wall decorations throughout the year will keep the Marketplace looking updated and new.

When talking about his favorite part of the renovations Niemann said, “Seeing the students truly enjoy the space is wonderful. Now students will come just to hang out and study as well.”

Rodney Stockett and Drew Niemann stand in the newly remodeled Marketplace.

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Sarah Luckert

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